From Washington, DC comes the quartet knows as Gloom, and Solaris is their debut full-length for Lifeblood/eOne Music. Containing nine new songs and one cover, Solaris is an eclectic affair that sees the band seemingly all over the place with styles and influences. You almost get the sense that the band originally wanted to settle into the deathcore camp, as there are definitely elements of that here, but knew they had to mix things up a bit to veer away from that much maligned metal sub-genre. That indeed was a good choice, as Solaris has enough post-rock, doom, black metal, and hardcore to go along with the death metal framework and keeps things quite interesting. Vocalist Bill Calomiris is at the center of all the mayhem with his vast repertoire of extreme metal styles, from gurgling grunts, to death metal bellows, hardcore shouts, and black metal screams, he basically does it all. The good is that the listener is treated to a decent amount of variety, the bad is that the vocalist at times tends to overshadow the music with his over-the-top performance. While the arrangements are good, there aren't a lot of memorable riffs, the band instead opting more for atmospheric & dense musical passages over which Calomiris spews his venom over. Some truly enjoyable fare though, especially the textured and quite heavy "Appetence Hominae" and the pummeling "Naught". The band even toss in a brutal take on Alice in Chains' classic tune "Them Bones", which is almost unrecognizable with the inhuman growls thrown in but that's what makes it so successful. I wish more bands who record covers would inject their own identity into the song like Gloom have done here.
Overall, a fairly solid effort from a band that shows some definite promise. Once the band starts to hone their songwriting skills and work on creating some better riffs, the music will eventually catch up to Calomiris and they will truly be a force to be reckoned with.
- 1% Empty
- Appetence Hominae
- Sub Umbral
- Them Bones (cover)